Tips and Tricks for Traveling Sustainably


With every headline and new scientific study, our awareness of environmental issues expands and with it the desire to live our lives more sustainably. One way we can do this is by continuing to re-evaluate and reinvent how we travel. Here at Kind Traveler, our goal is to do just that. We know that sustainable travel can often appear daunting to those who don’t know where to start. So from us to you, here are some simple tips and tricks to help you become a true sustainable and responsible traveler.


Traveling locally can be one of the best options when trying to reduce your carbon footprint. Planning a trip to a local getaway or road tripping to a famous landmark, beach, or national park is a great way to explore your home while engaging in a more sustainable alternative.

Adrift Hotel, Long Beach, WA


When the time is right to explore the world again, be sure to choose a sustainable destination that helps you meet your values. Here’s our recommendations of some of the most beautiful, eco-friendly destinations:

South Lake Tahoe

With its stark blue water and endless backdrop of pine trees, it’s no wonder why Lake Tahoe sees roughly three million visitors every year. But beyond its gorgeous landscape lies a community dedicated to preserving the lake and its surrounding environment. In 2017, South Lake Tahoe City Council adopted a resolution to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2032, at least a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, and an 80% reduction in emissions by 2040. We are very proud to have partnered with Tahoe South's Edgewood Tahoe and Hard Rock Lake Tahoe, both Clean the World partners dedicated to bettering their local community through positive community and environmental change.

Related: 15-Minutes with Amy Berry of Take Care Tahoe

Washington State

Home to more than 8,000 lakes, 100+ state parks, and 3 national parks, Washington State is the perfect setting to stage an outdoor adventure. With 3,000 miles of coastline and 21.8 million acres of forested land, Washington draws in millions of travelers yearly with its outstanding natural beauty. Located on a 21-mile stretch of coast, neighboring stays, Inn at Discovery Coast and Adrift Hotel + Spaare as thoughtfully designed as they are eco-friendly. In addition to being a stone's throw away from Washington's best hiking trails, Inn at Discovery Coast and Adrift have also earned the prestigious distinction of being named Certified B Corporations.

Sonoma County + Healdsburg

Set amidst the Russian River, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, and the Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County is a must-visit for the environmentally conscious traveler and wine-enthusiast. On track to become the first ever 100% sustainable wine region, Sonoma County and its hundreds of family-owned vineyards continue to show the world what it means to be a steward to the environment. Our partners Harmon Guest House in Healdsburg, and Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, exemplify Sonoma’s environmentalist spirit with their sustainable designs and ethical approach to hospitality.


Picking a destination is just as important as how you decide to get there. Transportation typically makes up most of your carbon footprint while traveling. Here are some tips for choosing the right transportation for the job.

By Car
If your vehicle is a real gas guzzler, try renting a car that gets good mileage like a hybrid or an electric car. It is worth doing a little research to see if the hotel or destination you are staying at has a free plug-in station.

By Train
Trains are still one of the most efficient and eco-friendly methods of travel, emitting the least amount of emissions and pollutants, regardless if they are diesel-powered or electric. What’s more, trains give you the opportunity to sit down and take in the sights while you wait to arrive at your destination.

By Plane
Plane travel emits roughly 2.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions or 850 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. While it is best to avoid air travel when possible, if you do have to travel by plane, buy a direct flight. Purchasing a ticket that features many stops increases your time in the air or on the tarmac creating an unnecessary increase in your carbon footprint. Another approach is to buy tickets through airlines invested in environmental initiatives like Jet Blue, which announced just this year that it would be going carbon neutral on all domestic flights starting July.

Offset Your Trip
Purchasing carbon offsets is a more recent solution to the environmental costs of travel. When you offset your trip, you are buying credits that fund conservation initiatives, CO2 sequestration projects, and organizations that prevent the emissions of greenhouse gasses. Try using the Climate Action Preserve, an offset registry that validates and rates offset programs.

Local Travel
You’ve finally arrived at your destination! Biking, walking, public transit and ride-sharing are excellent and eco-friendly ways to get around.

Casa Chameleon Resort


Book with a Sustainable Travel Company
By choosing to book with a sustainable travel company, you'll be able to easier identify accomodations and tour operators committed to sustainability and community impact. For example, when you book a Kind Hotel with Kind Traveler, it's easy for travelers to identify hotels that are committed to community impact and sustainability -- while empowering guests to positively impact the destinations they visit through local charity alignments. With Kind Traveler's Give + Get booking model, every Kind Hotel on Kind Traveler is aligned with a local charity beneficiary that is in its city or neighborhood. A $10 nightly donation will unlock exclusive hotel rates and perks.

Russian River | Sonoma County

Never estimate the power of a small donation to local charities. On Kind Traveler, we celebrate exactly what a $10 donation will do -- and it can go a long way. For example, a $10 donation to local environmental charity, Russian Riverkeeper in Sonoma County, will help clean up 250 pounds of trash out of the Russian River, while unlocking exclusive hotel rates and perks with LEED-Certified Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country. 

A $10 donation to Redwood Empire Food Bank in Sonoma County will provide 20 nutritious meals to in-need individuals and provide exclusive rates and perks with Vintners Resort in Sonoma County. When you give to charities on Kind Traveler, 100% of the donation goes to the charity. 

In addition to considering booking a Kind Hotel with Kind Traveler, we love tour operators G Adventures and Intrepid Travel. 

Related: 11 Sustainable Stays in Sonoma 


Waste is a huge problem when traveling and often this is a direct result of how and what we choose to pack. Whether you are a heavy or light packer, these products can help you reduce your waste while traveling.

Reusable Water Bottles 
It’s no secret the harm single-use plastic products have on our environment, especially our oceans. Companies like Hydroflask and Soma sell stylish reusable bottles that come in a variety of colors and sizes, perfect for on-the-go travel.

Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Many popular sunscreens brands you find in stores contain harmful chemicals that damage our reefs and aquatic life. Avoid Oxybenzone-based sunscreens and instead opt for products containing zinc. Reef-safe brands include: Raw ElementsKokua Sun Care, and Manda Organic

Compostable Toothbrush & Dental Products 

Ditch your plastic disposable toothbrush and try a compostable one made from bamboo instead. Public Goods offer a wide range of compostable dental products, including silk dental floss, and refillable travel-sized toothpaste.

Tote Bag
Keep a cloth tote bag with you for when you go shopping or find that special souvenir you’ve been looking for. The Dharma Door’s stylish tote is the perfect little beach bag for summer.


Reusable Straw
One of the most infamously harmful single-use products, plastic straws continue to be banned globally for the destruction they cause marine life. Consider bringing your own reusable metal straws or even bamboo straws.


Traveling sustainably is all about making choices. These choices can be as mundane as switching sunscreen brands or as significant as voting with your dollars by supporting tourism businesses committed to sustainability and community impact. However big or small, your choices as a traveler have an impact. So next time you go on an adventure, remember these tips and tricks and traveling sustainably won’t just be the easy choice, it will be your first choice.

Kate Eplboim is a travel writer and graduate of UCLA who passionately studied Literature and the Environment. Over the last four years, she has cultivated her passion for travel, environmental journalism, and gardening. She is a native of Los Angeles.